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TheBeefSite Newsletter - 26 February 2014

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Wednesday 26th February 2014.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley

Restocking Important to Prevent Fuel Load Build-up

Restocking the rangelands, as well as being key for agricultural output, could be vital in reducing the chance of wildfires, according to a Texas beef expert.

Dr Jason Cleere, extension beef specialist at Texas A and M, told TheCattleSite that growing fuel loads on the vast prairies will ideally be eaten down as more heifers return in the coming grazing seasons.

This is in the light of moisture shortage, still to be relieved in parts of Texas. 

If stocking rates lift, it will buck a long term trend of beef herd decline, particularly marked since 2007, both in the US as a whole and Texas.

High feed costs from 2007 have limited profitability across beef sectors around the world. Agricultural economists then noted the widespread 2011 and 2012 droughts as contraction factors.

“In Texas, our numbers have been low for several years in some areas,” said Dr Cleere. “Ranchers in these areas need to use forage resources wisely.”

As well as huge cattle operations, Dr Cleere said that most herds are one or two man concerns and wildlife has become a priority for many producers.

He said: “In Texas, around 90 per cent of the cattle are on ranches of less than 100 head.”

This means many producers are allowing wildlife to manage the plains, in some cases up to 100 per cent.

However, ‘optimistic’ was how Dr Cleere described cattlemen going forward, adding that many are looking to rebuild herds and are happy to rely on a strong beef market for a number of years.

High markets could be the incentives needed for investment, Professor Chris Hurt said this week.

This is why numbers are already rising, indicated by US Department of Agriculture heifer retention figures – up 1.7 per cent on 2013.

"Some cow/calf operations will see 2014 as the golden opportunity to get out with record-high cow prices," said Professor Hurt. "But the greater tendency will be for producers to hold on to the cows for the profitable opportunities that are expected over the next three or more years."

In the meanwhile, US beef production is expected to drop five per cent, which Professor Hurt said will likely support beef prices.

"Finished cattle prices are expected to average about $135 per live hundredweight in 2014, exceeding the previous record high near $126 in 2013."

Further Reading

You can read more about rebuilding the US herd by clicking here.

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Global Beef Industry News

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Cattle Outlook: On Feed Report Shows 2.8 per cent Decline
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Plant at Centre of Major Recall Could be Sold
Expansion of Beef Cattle Herds on Horizon
Cattle Futures: Modest Profit Taking, Friday
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Cattle Futures: Are We Near A Major Market Top?
Cattle Futures: Prices Close Higher And Turn Bullish, Tuesday
CME: Beef Exports off to Slow Start, Concerns over PED

   United Kingdom

Government Promises to Back British Farm Exports
UK Farming Needs Long-term Strategic Plan
Princess Royal Praises Collaborations to Safeguard Livestock
Consumer Pressure Remains on Retailers to Back British Farming
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Sales Results Suggest Swing Back to Charolais
New Data Source for UK Meat Producers


Germans Identify Second BSE Case


Decision on US M-COOL Expected in Summer
Canadian Team Defends Interest in COOL Dispute at WTO
Maple Leaf to Focus on Packaged Meats Business


FMD NEWS: FMD Outbreaks in Mongolia Affect Cattle Herds
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   New Zealand

Cattle Futures: Markets Bullish Despite Bearish On-Feed Report
Possible Arson Event Requires Vigilence
Data Agree on Improving Kiwi Health and Safety Record


Argentinian Beef Sector Told To Improve

   European Union

MEPs Criticised on Vote to Impose Inspection Costs
One Year On from Horse Meat Scandal – New DNA Tests Proposed
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Report Highlights UK TB Problem
Campylobacter and Salmonella Cases Falling Across Europe


Irish Meat and Livestock Value Rises
Calls Made to Rethink Shannon Flood Basin


Maltese Meat Production, Value Down in Fourth Quarter of 2013

   Korea, South

S. Korea Offers Aid to N. Korea to Contain FMD


End to Slaughter Without Stunning in Denmark


Nutreco Expands in Asia

   Korea, North

FMD Outbreak Reported in North Korean Pig Factory


Areas with Pasture Reduce, but Yield Increases


Sperm Bank Opens to Save Rare Breeds


Further Case of Bluetongue in Italian Hotspot

   Russian Federation

Further Cases of FMD in Southern Russia


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